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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Part 3 - Exodus



This is the most difficult part, putting them in places.

First - I need to remove all the pest.
So, after cleaning the soil build-up on the side .
(shrubbing and washing)
Suddenly, I just got stuck as not sure where to start.
I begin by sorting all the tall ones from the back,
while doing one pot at a time.
(I manage to prune & put the fertiliser)
Some need major work - re-setting the soil and plants.
May have to settle this later when I have more time.

After settling all the coloured ones, I rearranged the green ones.
Ohh.. how I wished I have less plants..
(Want not, Throw not)
Grew tired by the evening and had a tea break.
Guess what (I have no energy to start again)
I just stood there and wondered what to do next..
and that took few minutes & another couples of minutes.

Well, Finally by night
I was able to set all that is needed and remodel my garden.
Even after dinner, I cannot stop myself from looking away from the garden.

Do you experience this kind of similar situation when remodeling your garden?






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Felt like a lot more to do:
Replanting, finding a solution for those pest (whiteflies & mealy bugs),
overgrown ferns & dying plants
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More coming this weekend.
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Part 2 - "De-Forestation"



Finally I had manage to sum up some courage and decided to go with it. I guess it is now or never factor. Given the moment of time, I really don't think I would have the luxury of spare time to tend my garden. Not long hours like this.

So, first I have decided to do one thing at a time... and fast. I had removed all the plants and place them on the other side. If you have noticed, all my plants are in pots.

After clearing, I had got about 50 snails & slugs hiding under the bricks, behind the rim of the pots and every nook & corner. If I pity them, I would have to pay the price of sacrificing my plants.. so I guess you know what needed to be sacrificed.

There were many earthworms & spiders though, all of them crawling under the thin layer of soil, I had put them into the pots and hope they are happy there.

I want to show this part of my garden. The very basic bare space, its about 3m length and about a 1.5 meters in width. And that's the paradise I got - in making this simple garden.

After removing everything, the Flaming Violets are the only one that had found its residence between the pebbles. As you can see, how healthy looking it is, much better compared my potted ones - if fact, the potted one got matured and slowing dying.

Well, finally after carefully removing the plant, it was all scrubbing & washing and again & again.
I started about 3pm and finished about 8pm. A good 5 hours of work. The weather was good - the sun was shining all day and that helped to cheer me up.

More pictures coming up (Part 3 & Part 4)





Part 1 - Garden Turning Forest



My ferns in the hanging pots had partially dried and I had hanged it in a unreachable place as to maximise my garden space. Along with others those which are not so attractive plants hidden at the background where it serves as a haven for snails, slugs and mealy bugs.

I was thinking... and thinking...

Should I or shouldn't I?

It was really a now or later issue actually...

And so these thoughts continued playing in my mind as I was pruning & cutting off all the dried fern pots after another. Most of the Maiden Hair Ferns and the Fluffy Ruffle Ferns are dried at the bottom (either too hot and had faced lack of water)

The Cane Begonia had grown nicely about to my height and I had also pruned it to give a nice lovely look.


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Above all I cannot stop admiring the Spiral Ginger with the Never plant together with the Dumbcane plants - they give the everlasting variegated white look.
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With the Green Flaming Violet and the blue tiles at the foreground certainly gave a nice feature to feast the eye upon. (With the background of the begonias and the red vine plant)
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Back: ZigZag plant, Black Berry Lily, Creeping Fig
Front: in the planter box - Song of India & (another one which I had forgotten its name)
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The sore eye begins with all the half eaten leaves in all of these plants. These are all been damaged by slugs and snails which seemed to be hiding behind all these stones.
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The only way to get rid of them is to remove these and properly clean the whole area.

(This is what I was contemplation on: Should I or Shouldn't I)
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I started this with a small handful strings from my mother's garden.
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Eventually I had nurtured it and made many hangers, currently there are 3 here. I had given a lot of it as gifts to my neighbours and also to my mum but unfortunately none of them survived in their garden. (sob..sob..)
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Currently this Spanish Moss do take the limelight of my garden. I think I had seen too much of it that it totally block most of the lovely view of my garden. Or perhaps another word - too long & messy.
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(Hibiscus, Water Jasmine, Bougainvillea)
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The hibiscus have been flowering a lot lately, but the rest of it is just foliage - too many and leggy actually. It had altogether had turned the whole garden very heavy looking.
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(Bleeding Hearts, Palm Orchid, Maiden Hair Fern)
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These were infected with whitefly and were farmed by ants. It didn't do any damage to the plants. I didn't want to resort to pesticide too soon so I just managed by flushing them with water. I know its a losing battle as these pest might just multiply within a weeks time. Probably will check on them on the coming weekend to see how bad is bad.
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Monday, January 25, 2010

How to Care & Cultivate Water Jasmine (Wrightia Religiosa) Part 1

   


INTRODUCTION:

Wrightia Religiosa commonly known as Water Jasmine, also known as Sacred Buddhist, Wild Water Plum & Wondrous Wrightia. Its considered a sacred plant for Buddhist - as you can see even the name indicate it so (Sacred Buddhist) and (Religiosa).

This particular Jasmine is native around Southeast Asia regions surrounding Indo-China, Malaysia & Thailand. Also cultivated in other parts and tropical and subtropical regions as ornamental plant. There are instances where this plant have been used traditionally as a medicinal plant - however there are more studies and research required to verify their healing properties. 

Often very much cultivated in Buddhist Temples - this Jasmine have all the symbolic qualities in the spiritual sense of what makes it sacred especially contemplating these universal truths - these are timeless: There is so much to learn and reflect about this flowers of which for this instance considered holy and sacred, more deeper truths can be garnered and revealed as one meditate upon them.

  • The Petals denotes the 5 foundational Precepts of Life

  • The White Flowers denotes the value of learning and knowledge also associated with water element and water - in a deep sense where one frees oneself from the delusion of ignorance.

  • The Fragrance signifying the spiritual value - that among all the fragrant flowers, the fragrance of virtues are the most sweetest.

  • Unlike most Jasmine - Sacred Buddhist cascade downward when in full bloom denotes the value of being humble and not to be engaged with the pride and arrogance of life. Like most things - life is fleeting and so not to be too caught up in ego. Being humble is a virtue leading to a path of enlightenment and freedom. 

  • Another reflection of the 5 petaled flowers denotes the 5 Virtues of Dharma: Wisdom, Kindness, Patience, Generosity and Compassion.

As for now, I just leave these reflection in this basic revelation as my concern is to focus on the Plant Care - However these spiritual values does give a strong impression on why they are cultivated in Temples.





I had found these shrub growing along roadsides where it grows like a weed, I had tried uprooting it but failed as I found the root structure is very strong and tried to manage to grow them using partial damaged roots.

I tried planting this one using cuttings. Somehow with so many unsuccessful attempts I had decided to start this with seeds. It took me almost a year for it to reach this height. What marvels me is their leaves, never seen them so uniformly arranged - almost all of them in pairs. 

With many failed attempts, I decided to take long way by using seed propagation and found that it is much more easier to grow in comparison to cuttings. I had planted 4 - 5 seeds and managed to successfully maintain 2 trees to maturity with a steady growth that took almost 4 years for it to start it's glorious blooms.

It hasn't flowered yet, I recommend that it will fasten the blooming process by stripping off the leaves and pruning as it will speed up the flowering process.

Here you can note that the foliage structure is board and long - it should not be so. One of the technique in bonsai cultivation is to constantly prune and trim as it would train the plant to produce miniature size leaves - also it will trigger a stress factor forcing this jasmine into blooming.



LIGHT:

Being a Tropical Plant native surrounding regions of the Southern Asia - this plant does require good strong indirect bright sunshine, It can tolerate growing in shaded area however it must receive at least 6 hours of sunshine. It does not do well in heavy shaded area and may not bloom in such conditions. Also the leaves may turn pale and also become leggy. Another factor in the lack of sunlight may cause the plant to become stress and can attract pest to heavily attack on them.

Hence do give a thought if you're not having open garden area as this would not so well as indoor plant - even placing them as a balcony potted plant can be challenging if they receive inadequate light.

Lack of sunlight can also cause it not to bloom hence it will just be an evergreen shrub without flowers.



SOIL MEDIUM:

Considering one of the most basic thing about planting material - this one doesn't require anything special - just any balanced potting mix will do. They seem to do fine in a medium or big potted plant - however they will do great if they are planted directly into the garden soil as these will require just that to create those majestic cascading blooms. 

However if limitation occurs where you can only grow in pot - then a good balanced potting mix with rich amount of organic material and equal part of well drained soil which will help from root rot. 

Also Water Jasmine is often cultivated as a Bonsai plant and propagated using seed as it is much stable and produce very much like a miniature tree-like structure, hence a good quality balanced soil mix is required especially when it comes to bonsai pots where the pot density is shallow.



WATERING & FEEDING:

It may require a good adequate watering - based on the size of the plant.
You can grow it in a nice medium or large size pot, the plant will behave and grow based on the size of the pot. However I would recommend this to grow freely on ground if you want lushful beautiful cascading flowers.

Also this plant is a heavy feeder and do feed adequately during the flowering season.
However take note that over-watering can cause them to bud-drop especially during the rainy season, hence a well balance fast draining medium to ensure no root rot occurs.

These do have blooming cycle and may not be in constantly flowering however a lot of factors are also involve especially sunlight, feeding, watering and size of the plant.



This is the 2 Jasmine Plant which I had cultivated and experimenting - as you can see the size of it - keeping it short and manageable makes it easier to maintain them in long term basis.

Do follow up on this posting in Part 2 where I will show the end result of Pruning which causes them to become heavy bloomers.



This particular Jasmine was found growing wildly in the abandoned housing area. I wish I could steal this tree away but it just too wild and big. I tried many attempts in propagating this using cuttings but was not successful.

The full bloomed Jasmine flowers emit a sweet fragrance that last throughout the day however it doesn't stay more on the plant which creates a kind of nostalgic appearance when the blooms falls like dancing fairies cascading down to the ground.

These create clustered blooms with new flower buds that can last almost a week or two with the right conditions they can last longer.






Also another factor when it comes to this jasmine when growing unattended, it does grow unruly and the stem overgrown and wild which will discount the formation of blooms. Pruning is essential in this case, especially when it is cultivated in the garden - or else it would like this. 

Also removing the green seed pod if you are not collecting the seeds are also essential as it will cause the plant to put in too much energy in the pod formation. All these pruning and trimming will make this Jasmine to focus on the flower development which is in this case - what happens when it not attended to.



Do follow up on this posting in Part 2 where I will show the end result of Pruning which causes them to become heavy bloomers on the link below:

Also, Do click on the link below for more information on 
Other Types of  Tropical Fragrant Flowers:


How to Care & Cultivate Water Jasmine Bonsai (Wrightia Religiosa)



In this video, I will be sharing how I care & cultivate this particular tropical plant commonly known as Water Jasmine (Wrightia Religiosa) This particular Jasmine was grown using seeds - I have tried a couple of times propagating them using cuttings but failed miserably many times over.

However once the plant had established itself over the years in a slow growth - it never failed to give out blooms on it's seasonal basis. Here I will be sharing the factors of lighting, watering and potting to keep them in check so as not to overgrow the plant as I want them to be in a bonsai shape factor. - Tips on leaves pruning - Tips on roots exposure

And few other pointers concerning these Jasmine characteristics.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Yellow Ixora



This ixora was given to me by my mum. She wanted to clear her garden and was trying her best to give away all the surplus. I wouldn't consider propagating this one. Somehow I know it thru the cuttings but there is something about ixora's. This is the one plant which gives a yellow flower in my garden.

I often come across ixora flowers and its a haven for insects, spiders and all. So much so, I just refrain from adding another storehouse for these bugs. But this one is different.
There is no major pest-control needed. The plant is happy where it sits and happy to drink any amount of water I give it to it.

Currently its in the background, near a shaded area. I'm glad to note that this plant does its best to bloom and continue the next bloom while the other one gets matures.
And Hey! Guess What? It fruits!





Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Guess What?



Can you guess what flowers are these?


Coleus Again



These are the current collection of Coleus I have in my garden. All of them are facing high time of pruning and re-propagating. (all waiting for the gardener to take action)

(Please note that all the names of the coleus plants are basically indicative for my identification and not the actual names)

Top picture: "Streaked Curtains"
This one seemed to doing OK so far. I may have to do the replanting soon before this plant dies.

Picture below is my "Bleeding Rubies" (Shade)
This one is from the shaded area. Notice all the ruby coloured ones are replaced with cream colour. They get that pigment colour when in full sun.


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Below: Bleeding Rubies (Full Sun)
Same plant as above but look at the difference.
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This one is my "Wet Feet". (Shade)
I find that it look very interesting when in shade rather than the one is full sun.
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Wet Feet (Full Sun)
Notice all the green are gone replaced with red & pink centre.
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This is a new species in my garden. (Purple Coleus) (Shade)
I had found it an abandon area where someone had left it to rot. It was badly damaged by grasshoppers. I had placed in the shade first to see how it coloured.
Somehow it still showed a little green at the tips. Its quite hardy and doing well for these few months. I have not manage to propagate it yet. Its now, just one plant.
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Purple Coleus (Full Sun)
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Red Hearts (Shade)
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Somehow I still admire this one, they look very beautiful in both conditions (shade or sun)
Very hardy and easy to manage.
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This one is my most hardest, challenging coleus hybrid. They don't do so well even after propagating (cuttings). This plant is slowly dying. They are not the growing type (seemed to be very much like the dwarf species)
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Regardless, This "Army Pants" still look so beautiful. Wished I had like the others. I guess, its time to say good-bye to this species. It had been with me for few months.
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More tips on Coleus:
How do you know whether the coleus you have are the hardy type?
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1) Cuttings : For one - you would know that if its hardy, the coleus will root in water.
If they don't (rotting instead of rooting) then they are the sensitive type.
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2) Branches: The hardy ones will branch out to many stalks. Here you can take more cuttings and propagate them.
The sensitive ones just stay put and slowly die.
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Other tips from my earlier post (repeat)
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1) The flower buds must be pinched off as soon as they develop to prevent the plant from producing seeds. Once its started doing that, its life objective is completed and it will usually die.
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2) Trimming may also be necessary to prevent leggy growth. Anytime the tip growth is removed, the plant's growth will be diverted to the lateral side growth, creating a much bushier plant.
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3) Care is necessary as it needs daily watering.
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4) Sunlight is necessary, placing the plant in shady area will cause the plant to have more green than the colour.
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5) The plant requires to be replanted at most (3 - 5 months) once, or the whole plant will start to wilt in stages & die. Replanting & trimming helps to keep the plant to regenerate and live longer.
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Also click on the Colours of Rainbow for more details (past post)
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